Tougher hate crime sentences at record levels

|News, Hate crime

Courts are handing out tougher sentences in more than two-thirds of hate crime cases for the first time, a Crown Prosecution Service report published today (Tue 16 Oct) reveals.

In 2017/18, more than 67% of cases involving hostility on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability which resulted in a conviction had their sentence ‘uplifted’ by the court after applications made by prosecutors. This equates to more than 7,700 cases.

This figure compares with just 2.8% of cases which attracted the uplifted sentence in 2007/08, when the CPS first published its annual Hate Crime Report, the latest edition of which is published today.

Under hate crime legislation the courts must pass increased sentences where prosecutors evidence that offences have been motivated by hostility towards a person’s race, religion, disability, transgender identity or sexuality.

Chris Long, Chief Crown Prosecutor and CPS Hate Crime Champion, said: “We know being a victim of hate crime is particularly distressing because of the personal nature of the incident and the CPS is committed to robustly prosecuting these cases.

“The continuing increase in the number of offenders who receive increased sentences is a testament to the work of the CPS in building the cases correctly and providing the courts with the information they need to sentence appropriately.

“With the recent HMCPSI inspection report highlighting the good work of our network of hate crime co-ordinators, the data we are publishing today should provide further assurance to victims that the CPS is prosecuting these distressing cases effectively.”

Elsewhere, the Hate Crime Report shows the overall conviction rate for hate crimes has increased to 84.7% while the number of cases ending due to complainant issues has fallen.

Notes to editors

You can download the CPS’s Hate Crime Report for 2017-18 from this website (PDF document, approx 1.6mb)

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